I guess the greatest show on Earth came to a conclusion today with Saddam sentenced to death. The irony that Iraq lives in today is somewhat depressing. Saddam is a symbol of a brutal past and that symbol is about to see the gallows. Yet Iraq’s present and it’s future look a lot worse than any past Iraq I’ve ever seen. The country is falling apart at the seams while some people are cheering on for the death of a relic. I am completely uninterested in Saddam and the past, trial or no trial, his fate was decided the moment he was caught and everyone knows that. What concerns me is the here and now and the what comes next. Saddam is a footnote, at best the prelude to the sequel.
Cheering for the death of Saddam in the context of modern day Iraq, in the context of modern day conflict and foreign occupation; it’s like putting a band aid over a gun shot wound and feeling proud you finally got to use your first aid skills.
Some believe this is the Bush administration’s idea of a belated October surprise. I can give Karl Rove and his henchman a lot of credit for a lot of things, but orchestrating a court room drama to coincide with mid-term elections? Is the GOP that powerful and/or resourceful? I don’t know. Sometimes I figure they have enough trouble trying to get the FCC to censor Boston Legal.
In any case. In a time like this when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, Saddam’s verdict is likely to create only more darkness. For me it’s kind of confusing to see the end of one era without seeing the start of another one; a better one. It’s like cheering on the departure of the darkness without seeing the arrival of the light.
One has to ask themselves the begging question: is Iraq better now than before? I’m sure many Iraqis are asking themselves that question and I’m sure many of them have different answers.